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Missense Mutation Under Selection During Goat Domestication Influences Tameness

A missense mutation in the RMM1 gene appears to be a key step toward domestication, as it affects tameness among goats and mice, according to an analysis appearing in Science Advances. Researchers from Northwest A&F University in Shannxi, China, previously found two loci under strong selection during the domestication of the goat, Capra hircus. One loci contained the MUC6 gene and the other harbored two protein-coding genes, STIM1 and RRM1. In their new study, the researchers confirmed that the STIM1-RRM1 locus was under high selection during goat domestication, which took place about 6,500 years ago. They also previously noted that hybrid goats with locus were less fearful of humans, and now zeroed in on a missense RRM1I241V mutations behind this effect. Genome editing in mice showed that those with RRM1I241V mutations were also less fearful, tamer, and had increased social ability. "These results demonstrated a method to uncover the cross specials major effect genes of complex traits," the researchers write I n their paper. "However, the function of other variants on this haplotype and the detailed cellular mechanisms involved in the behavior changes are still unknown, which are potential limitations that need to be addressed in future research."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.